In many personal injury lawsuits, the issue of contributory negligence may be raised. Contributory negligence is the negligent conduct on the part of the injured party that contributes to the negligence of defendant(s) in causing the damage.
Every state has a different take on how contributory negligence should affect a plaintiff’s ability to recover damages. Some don’t allow plaintiff to collect any damages even if they are just 1 percent at-fault. Most follow a system where plaintiff’s can collect damages so long as his or her negligence doesn’t exceed that of defendant(s).
Florida is perhaps one of the most liberal in this regard because it allows plaintiff to collect even if he or she is 99 percent at fault for what happened. This is known as the “pure comparative fault rule,” and it’s followed by a dozen states. The rule requires plaintiff’s damages to be reduced by his or her own percentage of fault. So if a plaintiff is 99 percent to blame, he or she can only collect 1 percent in damages. Continue reading